Congressman Carbajal Introduces Bill Defending Central Coast from New Republican House Majority’s Renewed Push for Expanded Drilling
Washington, February 24, 2023
Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) announced he is reintroducing his bill aimed at protecting the Central Coast in response to a renewed push by the new House Republican majority seeking to expand offshore drilling and the sale of public lands to oil companies.
“When I first came to Congress six years ago, I pledged to our Central Coast communities that I would fight back against Big Oil’s appetite for drilling off our shores and in our public lands,” said Rep. Carbajal. “Back then, it was because then-President Donald Trump had started lining his Cabinet with oil and gas lobbyists and putting everything from our California shores to our national parks to monuments on Big Oil’s shopping list.
“Unfortunately, there is now a new Republican majority in the House aiming to return to that agenda – all while claiming to have the best interest of our working families in mind. Just a few weeks ago, House Republicans forced through a bill that would force the President to put new public lands up for auction. This is not only wrong-headed, its recklessness might actually lead to you and I having to pay more at the gas pump.”
The California Clean Coast Act would permanently ban future offshore oil and gas leasing in areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of California. This legislation was the first bill ever introduced by Carbajal as a member of Congress in 2017.
In 2019, the bill was passed in the House as a part of a package of offshore drilling-related legislation.
The bill has the support of Oceana, the Environmental Defense Center, Community Environmental Council, and Get Oil Out! (GOO).
“The California Clean Coast Act is necessary to protect our coast from the threats of offshore oil drilling,” said Linda Krop, Chief Counsel of the Environmental Defense Center, which was founded in the aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. “From the 1969 blowout at Platform A, to the 2015 pipeline spill along the Gaviota Coast, to the more recent spill in Orange County, the California Coast has suffered the devastating effects of offshore oil development on our communities and those who live, recreate, and work here. We know that when it comes to offshore oil drilling, it is not a question of if – but when – another spill will devastate our beaches and ocean waters. The California Clean Coast Act will preserve our precious coast from the threats of future oil spills and climate change.”
"California is quickly moving beyond oil to meet our goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2045 or sooner. Renewable energy is surging, electric vehicle sales are accelerating, and natural gas is being eliminated from buildings. New oil development has no place in California," said Michael Chiacos, Director of Climate Policy at Community Environmental Council.
"The catastrophic effect of oil spills on our coastline, marine life and economy is a huge "red flag" in continuing further oil development along our coastline. It is with this history and the goal of avoiding future imminent oil spill disasters and environmental catastrophes that GOO! strongly supports the California Clean Coast Act,” said Michael Lyons, President of Get Oil Out! (GOO).
“When they drill they spill and coastal communities deserve a healthy ocean and oil-free beaches. We applaud Congressman Carbajal for reintroducing the California Clean Coast Act, which would permanently protect the state’s coast from dirty and dangerous drilling. More drilling means more climate pollution which we cannot afford. Permanently ending new offshore drilling can help address the climate crisis and safeguard our coastal economy,” said Oceana Campaign Director Diane Hoskins.
“A group of surfers and rock climbers founded Patagonia down the coast from here 50 years ago,” said Patagonia spokesman J.J. Huggins. “We could have built our company anywhere, and one of the reasons we remained here is because of this region’s world-class surf breaks. Our coastline supports outdoor recreation, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and other local businesses. We’re here to work with all aspects of society — from government, nonprofits and the private sector — to protect the community and wildlife from the climate and ecological crises.”
The legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today with Reps. Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Ami Bera (CA-06), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Judy Chu (CA-28), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), John Garamendi (CA-08), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Mike Levin (CA-49), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Grace Napolitano (CA-31), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Adam Schiff (CA-30), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Scott Peters (CA-50), Katie Porter (CA-47), Mark Takano (CA-39), Juan Vargas (CA-52).
In recent weeks, Congressman Carbajal has vocally opposed legislation passed Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives that would block any releases from the strategic reserve until oil and gas drilling in the United States is expanded on federal lands, despite evidence that releases from the reserve have helped lower gas prices and that oil companies already hold 13 million acres of unused leases of public land.
The Republican-led House also recently rejected attempts by Carbajal and other California lawmakers to block future oil drilling off the Central Coast and other coastlines of California.
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